Getting good quality sleep is important if you want to maintain a healthy mind and body. Adults need 7 to 8 hours of qulaity sleep, while teenagers need 8 to 10 hours. For children of school age, it is 9 to 12 hours, preschool children need 10 to 13 hours, toddlers 11 to 14 hours and babies 12 to 16 hours. The number of hours sleep needs to be consistent each night (of course some adults work at night). It also helps to have a routine where you retire to bed at the same time each day.
Having good quality regular sleep can lower your risk for serious health problems, like heart disease and diabetes, and also reduce stress and improve your mood.
People who have quality sleep can perform better in the workplace and at school, they are able to think more clearly and are able to get along better with people.
To maintain a good night's sleep, it can be helpful to reduce or eliminate your caffeine intake. An average size cup of coffee contains about 95 mg of caffeine, an espresso 63 mg and decaf coffee 3 mg. A cup of tea contains about 25 mg of caffeine.
Herbal teas are a good solution if you want to reduce or eliminate your caffeine intake, as they contain no caffeine. The Original Tea Company have a herbal tea called Sleepwell, it contains nine ingredients and is a carefully selected blend to help induce sleep.
Quitting smoking can help, as the nicotine can keep you awake at night, and drinking alcohol in moderation or completely abstaining from alcohol, can help you to get quality sleep.
It is normal to have trouble sleeping every now and then, but some people unfortunately have sleep disorders on a regular basis. Some of these disorders can include: frequent loud snoring, feeling tired and in a low mood in the morning, interrupted breathing or gasping while asleep, an itchy sensation in the arms or legs.
There are some people who suffer from a condition called narcolepsy, it is a brain condition that can cause a person to suddenly fall asleep at inappropriate times during the day. The condition of the brain disorder is such that it is unable to regulate waking and sleeping patterns.
Other symptoms of narcolepsy include:
Cataplexy, this is a temporary loss of muscle control that can cause the person to become weak or collapse, normally as a result of expressed emotion such as anger and laughter.
Sleep paralysis, this is a temporary inability to speak or move when falling asleep or waking up.
Excessive dreaming which happens just before waking up, this is known as hypnopompic hallucinations.
Excessive dreaming followed by waking up during the night, known as hypnogogic hallucinations.
Sleep apnea, in which a person experiences pauses in their breathing or shallow breaths while they are asleep.
This condition can be divided into three categories;
Chronic insomnia, which is ongoing and long term. It can last for four weeks or longer and is normally attributed to the side effects of certain medicines, medical conditions or a sleep disorder.
Acute insomnia which is short term, this can last from a few days to a few weeks and is normally brought on by stress.
Primary insomnia isn't the result of the side effects from medicines or any medical conditions. The cause of this insomnia isn't well understood, but it is known that it can be brought on by emotional crisis and long term stress.